NetChoice Response to Andrew Yang’s Tech Proposals

Today, Presidential Candidate Andrew Yang released a slew of tech proposals, covering four main issues:

  • Privacy and Consumer Data
  • The Use of Technology, Especially by Young People
  • Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act
  • Antitrust Enforcement and Tech

Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel at NetChoice pushed back on Yang’s proposals:

Privacy and Consumer Data

“The current online advertising model enables consumers to access high quality content and sophisticated services for free. Yang’s policy would create more paywalls around content and diminish the presence of free services.”

“On Yang’s internet we will have more paywalls and less content.”

“Americans support the current market structure. By a 3-to-1 margin Americans prefer online services to be funded by targeted advertising rather than paying for them directly.”

The Use of Technology, Especially by Young People

“The surge in access to technology and the internet in the 21st Century benefits us all every day – that’s why tech is so prevalent in society today.”

“For a candidate who claims to focus on “evidence-based policy,” Yang’s most outlandish claims lack evidence.”

“Rather than proposing knee-jerk policy responses to perceived problems, Yang should wait for more evidence on tech’s impact on children and not ignore a recent study that found no link between social media usage and negative impacts on mental health in teens.”

Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act

“We must dispel with this myth that because online services moderate user-created content, they are equivalent to the New York Times or the Washington Post. Unlike the journalists at the New York Times or Washington Post, Facebook doesn’t write posts and Twitter doesn’t write tweets — users do.

“The New York Times and the Washington Post’s comment section benefits from the same legal structure and protections as social media businesses.”

“Social media services moderate content to reduce the presence of hate speech, scams, and spam. Yang’s proposal to amend Section 230 would likely increase the amount of hate speech and terrorist content online.”

“Yang incorrectly claims a “publisher vs. platform grey area.” Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act does not categorize online services. Section 230 enables services that host user-created content to remove content without assuming liability.”

Antitrust Enforcement and Tech

“We welcome Yang’s recognition that breaking up tech businesses wouldn’t benefit consumers. The role of antitrust and regulation in the U.S. is to protect consumers, not competitors of successful businesses.”

Carl Szabo testifies Before Ohio State Senate Judiciary Committee on Antitrust

Read the Testimony

Should the government break up Big Tech?

AL.com, SI Live, Penn Live Patriot News, Cleveland.com, NJ.com, Mass Live, The Oregonian

Carl Szabo, vice president of the free-market tech trade group NetChoice, said in a statement that the “proposal would increase prices for consumers, make search and maps less useful, and raise costs to small businesses that advertise online.” Szabo, whose group counts Google and Facebook as members, said that consumers have never “had more access to goods, services, and opportunities online.”

Calls to Breakup Apple, Facebook, and Google Are a Modern Day Fairy Tale

Medium

Captain Ahab, Don Quixote, and Ponce de Leon — there are dozens of tales featuring self-proclaimed heroes chasing white wales, tilting at windmills, or hunting for fountains of youth.

Today we have real life examples of mythical pursuit embodied in the rhetoric of those who claim that technology innovators like Apple, Facebook, and Google are monopolies as the basis for their breakup.

Their claims of technology monopolies are classic stories recycled for modern day audience, yet undermined by reality and history. Unfortunately for them, however, we have seen and re-seen their movies, and the endings never bode well for their cause.

Read more on Medium…

Gongwer – Big Tech Companies Under The Microscope In Field Hearing

Gongwer – Big Tech Companies Under The Microscope In Field Hearing

But Steve DelBianco, president of NetChoice, told members of the panel that large online platforms help America’s small businesses.

“For America’s small and mid-size businesses, the bigger the platform the better for reaching larger audiences. Consider the local custom furniture store. Just 15 years ago businesses like this could barely afford to place an ad in a local newspaper, let alone on TV or radio. Thanks to large online platforms, for less than $10 a small business can reach thousands of potential customers and target them more accurately than ever,” he said.

“Large online platforms have given new growth opportunities to America’s small businesses via app stores on the Apple and Android platforms. Software distribution used to require significant outlays for advertising, marketing, and logistics. But app stores allow even small software developers to reach millions of customers at minimal investment.”

Democratic divisions emerge over tackling Big Tech

The Hill

Steve DelBianco, the president of tech trade group NetChoice, called the criticisms “predictable.”

“It plays to their base to show that they’re standing up to big companies and that they care about election security, privacy, violent and extreme content.” 

NetChoice Testimony for Ohio Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on Antitrust Issues

NetChoice Testimony for Ohio Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on Antitrust Issues

POLITICO - 'Populist mobs' vs. the Kochs: Tech probes split the GOP

POLITICO – ‘Populist mobs’ vs. the Kochs: Tech probes split the GOP

“It comes down to the question of: Do you see government as the solution to a perceived problem? Or do you believe that the market is in the best position?” said Carl Szabo, vice president and general counsel of NetChoice, a right-leaning industry trade group whose members include Google and Facebook.

“It is one thing to say you believe in the free market, it’s another thing to actually do what you say,” he said.

Every State but California and Alabama Is Investigating Google for Antitrust Violations

Western Journal

While bipartisan efforts are moving forward, the vice president of NetChoice, a trade association of businesses, expressed disappointment in the plans, calling it a “tech witch hunt.”

“There is no case for antitrust. The marketplace is robust with competition and it’s incongruous that direct competitors can all simultaneously be monopolies,” Carl Szabo told The Daily Caller News Foundation in August.